Getting Out

Sometimes, after a long work day or just at the end of a long day of yard labor or even just a brain sucking day in front of a computer screen, you feel the need to sit in the saddle. Even if it’s only for a couple of miles, even if it’s just to run to the store to buy a bottle of Coke Zero and some lottery tickets. You don’t need the Coke Zero, maybe you don’t really want it either and you know the purchase of lottery tickets is just a waste of money. The most you’ve ever won on a lottery ticket was $167 and that went to pay a credit card bill, so it was a minor win. But sometimes, that ride to the store is all you need in that moment.

Sometimes, even if the weather is crappy, there are clouds in the sky and threat of rain looms large as black imposing clouds lurk just below the treetops. Or, the temperatures are dipping slightly lower than you like and although you are not necessarily a fair weather rider, you prefer not to be on the bike if it means you have to bundle up and consult the wind chill chart to see just how much bundling you have to do. You don’t mind putting on the leather jacket so much as you do the multiple layers beneath it. You don’t mind putting on the chaps or even grabbing the heated gloves. It’s not so cold that you need them but cold enough to make you uncomfortable and make you wish you did grab them. You have forbade yourself from riding in temperatures lower than 50°F, regardless of how far you have to go, but it’s 53°F. But you grab your gauntlet gloves and suck it up. Despite the 15 knot wind out of the Northwest that drags with it the chill you so despise, you pull a neck gator over your head and lumber down the hallway to the driveway where you bike sits idling. Puffs of hot air create a small cloud behind the bike, lending further credence to an air temperature that is near to your forbidden limit.

Sometimes, even if you don’t have a lot of time, perhaps only minutes, your want to wrap your hands around those grips, sequestering time to the back of your mind. It is February and the sun still sets at a miserable hour in relation to the hour you get out of work or the time you finish your household work for the day. Those chores you have assigned to yourself, that task you needed, wanted to accomplish this weekend. That task you thought would only take a few hours on Saturday, leaving your Sunday free but turned into all day Saturday, 4 trips to Home Depot and assistance from your brother or neighbor. Maybe there’s the work complete for the day but there is the arriving guest or the appointment that has been scheduled weeks, maybe months in advance. That appointment or arrangement that you have been trying relentlessly to get on the calendar finally comes through and now it sits just an hour away but you still feel unsettled.

Sometimes, modern life’s daily frustrations or even calmness gnaws at you and gives you cause to do something, anything to break the monotony. Be it taking out the garbage, feeding the dog, sweeping off the deck, skimming the pool, doing some laundry, tidying the bathroom, calling your mother or writing a blog. Fixing a cup of coffee or tea for yourself and the simple act of eating an apple or a 1 ounce container of blueberry yogurt gives reason to let loose with a long, labored, sigh. Monotony for today.

As I write this, I glance to my left out of my home office window. I see small brown lizards lying still on the cover of my grill, patiently waiting for the sun to peak out from behind the overcast sky, a sun that the weather guessers have promised would make an appearance today and raise the days temperatures above, even if only slightly, 60°F. I think the poor little brown lizards are going to be disappointed. Beyond the railing of my deck, I see our 14-year-old golden mix dropping a poop on my new sod. Moments later I glance out again to see her scraping aforementioned new sod away in a corner by the fence, so she can lay on the cool dirt beneath it. Another chore for me to tackle later, she’s an old girl, she can have her time on the cool dirt.

As of this writing, I am 25 days from my retirement date. A date that I have been greatly anticipating now for 4 years, perhaps longer when I consider my employment. In 25 days, everyday will be Saturday, everyday will be a vacation day, everyday will be a moment in reflection and days with no excuse. My new employer, my bride, will keep me busy no doubt, but at that point I can approach all tasks with the knowledge there is no deadline, no need to complete said tasks immediately. No need to squander hours after working full time to chores that need doing before the sun sets or before it rains or before… whenever. This doesn’t relieve me of my domestic duties, no, not by a long shot. It does however, relieve the pressure of completion. Not that this means I’m about to have dozens of half completed projects, it just means there is going to be the lack of pressure. This opens up opportunity.

But sometimes, that’s daily life as a regular guy home owner. Eat, sleep, work, chores, poop patrol, garbage, litter box, repairs, builds and of course the new things that may crop up from time to time that may suck the life out of you. The big labored sighs are likely to diminish dramatically and occasionally they will interact with daily life. When that happens, we all know, we motorcyclists, we bicyclists, we mountain bikers, those of us that crave and long for that rush of our blood through our veins, will take to our machines, even if it is only for a scant few stolen minutes and miles.

Sometimes. You just got to get out.

I did. I was chilly, I didn’t bundle up, but I did ride and I did get the bottle of Coke. However, when I got home I realized I forgot the lottery tickets. That’s okay though. I won in a different way.


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